The law of unintended consequences. Trump’s recent executive order to reduce regulation across the federal government is likely to cause more problems for drone use than it solves. While the order was passed to reduce regulation and help stimulate business growth, with the nascent growth of the Drone industry regulations are needed to be updated and changed to give drone pilots more ability to fly their drones for customers. Read the rest of the story on Forbes.
John Goglia has a piece on Forbes.com stateing that the FAA has responded to questions about the shooting down of drones. Citing 18 U.S.C. 32, the FAA has confirmed that shooting down a Drone or any other aircraft is a felony. This statue goes on further and prohibits interfering with anyone “engaged in the authorized operation of such aircraft”. This means that threatening a drone or drone operator could put a person in jail for 5 years.
While the FAA says that it is a federal crime to shoot down aircraft, they have not stated when they will start prosecuting those that are shooting down UAVsRead More
Here is a fun article from the Idaho Statesman. It covers the “new” sport of drone racing. It has an angle about getting kids involved and how much they enjoy it.Read More
Yesterday, the US Department of Transportation held a press conference outlining new rules that they and the FAA want to implement. These rules would make it so that all UAVs (Hobby and commercial) as well as other hobby aircraft will need to be registered with the FAA. There are a lot of questions with this, and the obvious is about hobby use. Right now, hobbiests do not need to register their aircraft. The process to register an aircraft is very time consuming, and involves many carbon copies… yes, in 2015 they still do not have an electronic means of document submission.
There has been some good commentary about this press-release and proposed new rules:
- 8 Questions Raised by the USDOTs Decision to Register Every Drone in the US also from Aeriographer.com.
- What’s your objective opinion about the Department of Transportation’s announcement that they are forming a task force to essentially create a UAS registration process? from Droneu.com.
- The Problems with Mandatory Drone Registration by Jonathan Rupprecht on jrupprechtlaw.com.
- AMA JOINS DOT TASK FORCE ON UAS REGISTRATION from the AMA Website. They say that they are going to work on having differing rules for small hobby and toy drones.
- U.S. To Require Registration Of All Drones; Hobbyists May Pose Legal Conundrum by John Goglia on Forbes.com. This is a really good read.
John Goglia broke the news on Forbes that the FAA has certified a paper airplane for UAV operations. The PowerUp powered paper airplane has a 180′ range and and a 10 minute flight time. Unfortunately, the individual that got the 333 exemption is not legally allowed to fly it commercially, since his helicopter pilot’s license is out of date.Read More
Democratic Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson in California has written a bill that has passed the assembly, leaving only 50′ of airspace for UAV operators to fly in. This new bill calls a UAV flying under 350′ trespassing, leaving only a 50′ window in which to fly UAVs in the state, legally. You can fly over businesses, though, it seems.
Here is another article that shows the level of paranoia involved in legislation. Here is the best quote: “It makes no sense that a drone should be able to look in your window and the operator should not be guilty of the same trespass.” I am not sure if this assemblyman has heard of voyeurism laws or not. The article says “if you are looking on someone’s property to break in, you are trespassing.”
It seems that law should apply to UAVs, too, instead of just making it trespass if you are under 350′. With this article, I question if their elected officials have seen any SCOTUS laws over the years dealing with this, and how their laws break the constitutional protections of the 1st amendment.
All in all, this seems like a knee-jerk reaction to a non-issue.Read More